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Day to Day Politics: Bennelong. What did it mean? Well, not much.

Tuesday 19 December 2017

1 The Australian government and its leader Malcolm Turnbull celebrated a victory in a by-election that was so full of anecdotal reasons for winning or losing that it is nigh on impossible to form a view as to which party came out on top. Honestly, there were that many variables that you could be right or wrong depending which variation on the theme you picked.

For me, well I will stick with the point that the electorate stuck with the incumbent because they thought he had been treated unfairly.

Which makes a swing of 5% very important. If it translated into a national swing then the Coalition would be in wipe-out territory. But if Labor is to take anything out of this by-election it is that you have to earn your victories, not take them for granted.

The last Newspoll results for the year showed Labor still with a 6 point winning lead. That’s despite the government presiding over the introduction of gay marriage, and the Sam Dastyari affair. Both have identical approval/disapproval ratings. So the residue of wrongs past are firmly set in the minds of constituents.

However, contrary to everything I have written of late about a better way of doing politics, both sides in their Bennelong campaigns placed on display everything rotten about politics in this country. It seems they are just not interested the virtues of transparency, honesty and truth.

It’s a pity that politicians cannot see beyond the awfulness of the profession they practice. That there is a way that would gain votes via the appreciation of decency in government.

As for John Alexanders poor disabled joke’, well Kurt Fernley’s tweet about summed it up.

I’m not one to get offended, and I’m not offended. Cause I choose not to be offended by the ignorant. But I spend my life convincing disabled kids that they are awesome. Then they hear that. You’re kidding yourself if you think that language is ok.

2 Let’s remember what they said in 2013. We will “reduce debt” the Government promised with Real Solutions. But Gross Debt is $516.9 billion today, compared with $273 billion in 2013.

Meanwhile the Government continues to cut welfare, universities and family payments and other services or eliminate them altogether.

They also propose a tax cut for large companies, some of which don’t pay any tax at all. It too believes that by giving to the wealthiest people or companies special status that the disadvantaged will benefit. I’m yet to be shown how this drip-down form of economics actually works when its they who in the end, pay for it. Rather odd, that?

Chris Bowen said that:

“The reason the budget is still such a mess is because Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison continued to shower the biggest tax concessions on the people in our community, the millionaires and multinationals, who need tax breaks at least as well as jacking up taxes on people who work in middle Australia.”

On that point I wholeheartedly concur.

An observation

“We live in a failed system. Capitalism does not allow for an equitable flow of economic resources. With this system a small privileged few are rich beyond conscience and almost all others are doomed to be poor at some level”.

It remains to be seen if the leader will be given his head to lead or will the Country Party continue to govern in their own right. There also seems to be a determined attempt by the Murdoch press to pump up the chances of the Coalition winning the next election. It seems that performance has little to do with governance anymore.

3. It is indeed a mad, mad world. The world’s wealthiest and most powerful nation elected a billionaire to do something about the 21 million of its citizens who live in abject poverty. The way he proposes to do this is by making the wealthiest wealthier, including himself.

In addition, Trump has done away with a rule that gives all internet users the same speed. The deregulation will potentially enable providers to do deals with certain companies for faster speeds whilst those unable to pay would slow down. No wonder Murdoch was on the phone to Trump. This might also have repercussions in Australia. It will create an internet for those who have and those who have not.

“It also prevents telcos cutting deals with certain internet companies, such as online streaming sites, enabling them to provide better access to, for example, Netflix than Amazon Prime Video.

The decision by President Donald Trump’s chief regulator to scrap these protections hands the big three US telcos the power to do all these things.”

The move is judged by many as obscene as are the tax cuts for the rich and the taking away of health benefits for the lowest paid. On top of that Trump has decided to spend a few billion more on another sight seeing tour of the moon. Just what it is they intend to find this time that wasn’t there last time remains a mystery.

My thought for the day

“There of those who like to have robust political opinions yet conveniently ignore the political consequences of what they say.”

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  1. Jan

    Malcolm gets sleazier and more desperate every day. A hollow nasty man is he.

  2. yahoo mail

    Frankly I am sick to deathj with this Government cuts to welfare, cuts to everything except their money, Time has come for a Federal Election, the sooner they are gone the sooner this great Country can get back to be being a better great country.

  3. Ricardo29

    Given the number of unemployed, under-employed, welfare recipients and those whose wages have stagnated, or gone backwards for years, it is a wonder to me that the LNP appear from polls to still have 47% support. How can so many who are adversely affected by their policies continue to support them? Yes, I know, the Muckrake rags.

  4. Glenn K

    correction Jan. He is corrupt, as are most of the LNP. “Corruption” ….impairment of integrity, virtue, or moral principle (the New Penguin English Dictionary 2000).
    I’m sure there are multiple definitions of corruption across various dictionaries, but this one will suffice.


    Ricardo29. agree. i am also one that is astounded by this fact. i put it down to a misinformed electorate. At the last fed general election i saw an interview with a mother of 5 young kids with only her husband working who said life was tough and they were struggling. Yet she said she would be voting LNP to ‘give them a go’. She did that even tho her family tax benefit payments were on the chopping block and cuts to education for her chilfdren were on the cards. Its absurd. The failing of democracy is that the uniformed and misinformed can out vote the informed. The LNP exploit this weakness.

    lets face it the general.public is pretty thick. average aust IQ is low by international standards


    “lets face it the general.public is pretty thick. average aust IQ is low by international standards”. which explains why people believe the muckraking media which is bereft of analysis. i include the crapoy abc in that. they are oathetic. interview with morrison last night just back slapping for him with no mention of the fact that the 23 bill ‘saving’ was only against a 600 bill forward estimate etc. the abc are shit. they have always lacked analysis and relied upon repoters and a concept of news worthiness that is the same as the commercial stations. i couldnt care if they go. they are next to useless. it maybe the best thing to get rid the broadcasting licence requirement on commercial stations for a compulsory evening news bulletin entirely.

  7. silkworm

    The day before the election, I heard Alexander give one last plug for himself, or should I say, he played his last card of fear and smear against Labor. He said that if Kennealy got elected, there might be a change of government, and with Labor in government there would be an economic crash, and property prices would fall. Jeez Louise, what an upper class twatty thing to say.

  8. stephengb2014

    The fact that people continue to vote contrary to their own interests is indeed strange. It means that those of us who are progressive must change our narrative. It is not good enough to say those guys are bad, we are good, therefore vote for us!

    We have to let everyone know that their lives in struggle street is not inevitable, it is not ” their lot” in life. They do not, we do not, have to accept, the crumbs from the higher ups table.

    It comes down to the simple fact that governments in order to govern have only two tools with which they can put into effect their policies (ideology) they can only exercise control over government spending and taxation. Every law passed by parliament to pursue a policy decision comes down to spending or taxing people and/or organisations.
    It stands to reason why then the LNP spend so much energy spruiking its so called financial managment expertise, whilst decrying the so called financial mismanagement of the opposition.

    Therefore it is imperative that every voter knows this and every voter knows, what money is, how money is created, who creates it and how it works at least at a macro level.

    This knowledge is ‘A’ politic, but the knowledge would enable most to make informed decisions about any proposed policy and how that policy is likely to affect their lives.

    No matter what you might think of MMT, the facts are that the RBA Act 1959, at Part V, gives the RBA the sole authority to create our currency (our money) and directs what our currency is called.
    It is a fact of our constitution that the government may only spend money appropriated by legislation and or from an account called ‘consolidated revenue’, and it is a fact (explained in the RBAs operations section) that the account called ‘consolidated revenue’ does not actually exist but that all moneys paid to the federal government are merely deemed to have been paid into consolidated revenue.

    Now if anyone cares to check the above facts it must show you that money comes from thin air by decree, and that taxation must come after the money is created (taxes actually destroys money in circulation).


  9. Wam

    Wow Lord, what a start.
    This is the third time I started this post. The first was lost on the way to dropping my daughter to work and the second just as I was finishing my poached egg in Benalla.(select all and save is not a strong point to a bloke whose mind also drops out)

    Perhaps the less intellectual voters only have political interest at elections and they like the rough. The libs believe so and they make sure their rough stuff is hidden under labor lies.

    Benelong byelection showed Labor’s preferred dance was ‘footshooting’ with keneally’s deference to torpid tanya a thigh slapping movement to the disastery rhythm.

    But the real highlights are the post scooting speeches.

    Alexander’s apology for his ‘rape’ jokes was made hollow by his attempt to secure the job of dismantling the NDIS. Whilst trumbles and little billy were spreading the bullshit so thick as to slow down those following with knives.

    User pays is standard for a rich user or a politician we pay, for workers they pay and neither give a thought about the rest. I have no doubt telstra can already give preference to bandwidth for the top end of town at peak demand but trump’s move will allow legal blackmail and extorsion by slowing down reception for the poorer end.

    Words have so different a meaning to those of different social strata.
    Do you know anyone who is poor, Lord? Do you anyone who says they are poor, Lord?
    The dole means there are no poor especially if you are aware of rental assistance and doubly especially if you have never been to a centrelink office.
    Do you know anyone who is rich, Lord?
    I have two very rich school friends one by inheritance and the other by the black market, usually for vietnamese (in his terms ‘ningnongs’) but he is a top carpenter and terrific with his hands. He racist, sexist, homophobic totally apolitical making no effort to learn any facts he and his wife just vote. As Joseph is the only chippie I have ever know to vote labor, my guess is liberal but he live in the port so who knows??
    These boys both have health cards so the government labels them poor?

  10. helvityni

    Ricardo29, OTMP,

    I have hard to understand why my poorest friend is a Liberal voter; maybe being a Right-winger makes her feel a bit like an English LADY, being from England she is very class conscious..

    One other friend asked me, why are you a Lefty, you are not even poor…. plenty of reasons..

  11. helvityni

    To the very desperate Mal, Bennelong meant ALL…

    The old tired tennis player, should have retired and left it all to the younger and more vibrant Kristina….

  12. Vixstar

    Labor swing towards them was +7.31% which is amazing considering all the shit Liberals threw at KK . The liberals have nearly a 6 % swing against them so I am pretty happy with that and I agree that the old tennis player seems to have early signs of dementia. Watch the clip he is not responding to questions , out of focus eyes and Turdball is seems to be orchestrating his movments, a little too exaggerated to get him to articulate the right answer and then whammo comes out with a clanger again!

  13. Rob

    Spot on John Lord, The MSM can’t and won’t publish opinions like this for fear of???? Am tempted to say “How long is a piece of string” The rich get rich and poor get the invoices under this failed LNP Government. The lesser breasted chest beater turnbull and his new BFF barney joyce….Arrggh

  14. Jexpat


    The two party prefferred swing (the only one that matters) was only 4.86% which is a substantial underperfom, at least as against any of the cheap media poll predictions (which have been way off base in the last two state elections).

    It’s plausible that without the Chinese bashing, it would have been closer to 3.5%, as the greatest swing occurred in areas with larger multicultural populations.

    bottom line: picking Keneally -and dregding up the stinking corpses of Sussex St. circa 2011 was a big mistake.

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